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Sahlin keen to raise taxes

TT/The Local · 9 Sep 2009, 07:13

Published: 09 Sep 2009 07:13 GMT+02:00

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The party, Sweden's largest, aims to increase takes for those earning more than one million kronor ($142,000) a year, while also taxing houses with a market value of more than six million kronor.

In its shadow budget, set to be presented next month, the party also plans to reintroduce the wealth tax abolished by the sitting government.

The Social Democrats rejected any suggestion that they would lower taxes for any income groups.

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TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:51 September 9, 2009 by magic1964
More taxes on wealth in Sweden means more highly educated and audacious Swedish leaving the country replaced by low educated people who will end up living on welfare....

Here is a good story to image this ...

Five good friends who grew up together turned into regular bar, deciding that instead of splitting the bill equally, they would split the bill based on the proportion of money each one made. This went on successfully for years and these weekend get-togethers became the high point of their week. One man paid 50% of the bill, one paid 20% and the other three paid 10% despite the fact that they all drank relatively the same amount.

Then during a particularly good years he pub owner was feeling generous with his wealth & told the men that because they had been great customers through the years he was going to give them back 50% of the bills they had paid for that year. It was the equivalent of 10.000 kr. The four that paid 10%, 10%, 10% & 20% rationalized that because they had all drank the same amount, they each deserved 2.000 kr. However, the one who had been paying 50% of the bill (let's call him Jens) said: "Wait a minute. I paid half of this I deserve 5.000 kr." The other four, thinking that Jens had become greedy & unloyal , took him outside, beat the crap out of him & took their 2.000 kr. share each. Jens said to himself "screw these guys" and started drinking with other friends at a pub in the next town. The next weekend, the remaining four friends met as usual but couldn't afford the bill, so they had to stop their weekend get-togethers. Now, none of them enjoy the weekend.
09:11 September 9, 2009 by usgepo
Great Analogy Magic!

Save jobs, this waste of space politicians, have not work a single hard day in their lives, especially Mona, she cheated on her expense reports to the state who can forget that.

You need to stimulate the economy make easy for people to be in business and cut down taxes perhaps even a flat rate all across, so many people leave the country and keep the bulk of their earnings abroad, Sweden is a good place to live but common for many of us that depend on commissions for the bulk of our income, every month is like having her ugly face taking a big wet bite out of my rear end, and I can tell you it does not feel good!

There is so many people abusing the system how about dedicating more people to investigate benefits fraud and prosecute those taking money out of our pockets every month.

Look at the unemployment system, people can be out of work for years and they are healthy able people, if you can ´t get a job in 13 weeks, we send you to learn either a trade or something where you get paid to learn but work at the same time for you to be useful, you don´t want to do that to bad out on the streets pal!

No more Bidrag abuse!
09:37 September 9, 2009 by bettan1
I agree, Great analogy Magic!

I'm surprized it was allowed!
10:28 September 9, 2009 by BlackfDes

When you play cards or Monopoly and someone cheats the reaction is fairly predictable: the person who was caught cheating denies that they cheated and the other players are angry that that person betrayed their trust by cheating.

A fair percentage of people do everything they can to lower their tax burden within the letter of the law. But there are those who do everything they can to avoid paying tax at all through all sorts of tax minimisation schemes. The latter is called "cheating" and those caught doing it should be sent to jail for cheating the society that gave them the opportunity to earn the money in the first place. For those that are creating and introducing tax and financial laws and supposedly setting an example to the rest of society, if they are caught cheating then they should also be put in jail - no second chances.

The same rigor of law must also be applied to those who cheat the welfare system - it is a safety net not a hammock!


The Black One
10:31 September 9, 2009 by tridy
It's almost like Russia and oil. There are holes in the economy that they are constantly healing with the extra oil getting pumped and hardly ever fixing the root or the cause of the problem. Raise the taxes to cover the problems that arise. Like good old fella Robin Hood -- take from the rich and give to the poor.

I agree that there should be progressive tax (Magic's Jen's case), otherwise, I think, in the long run we will get too many wealthy and too many poor people and almost no middle class. At the same time, people will move the finances abroad where the taxes are more friendly which will hurt the economy, as well as boost gray and black markets. So, taking really drastic measures should be taken really carefully.

"taxing houses that are over 6 mln in value" -- that probably means a PRIVATE house with ONE family living in it. So, if there are officially 2 people (non-married and non-sambo) living in the house, then how do you deal with that? There are far more [legimate] ways to go around the 6 mln rule than to make it work.

In every country [not so rich] people [me as well, obviously :)] like to complain about evil rich people and that they do not deserve all the money that they have. That is why most likely this will work here, in Sweden, as well.
10:52 September 9, 2009 by Alannah
One good reason not to vote for the Social Democrats! And not to let them back in.

Taxes in Sweden are already the second highest in the world (after Denmark). Quality of life also means having enough money to live comfortably off and that doesn't involve giving almost all your money to the State.
11:05 September 9, 2009 by Plowbridge
It doesn't matter. Mona Sahlin has more chance of flying solo to Mars than being elected as prime minister. Despite the ugly thatcherite ignorance of the current government Sahlin fails every single time to come up with strong rhetorical or alternative policies other than "giving pensioners a rise and increasing taxes for the wealthiest'. In terms of innovation she sits in a time warp around 1950 where the word did not exist.

I want to see the current government thrown out on their incompetent arses but Sahlin lacks any skills to lead an alternative and should be discarded now before it is far too late. Sadly that won't happen because here in Sweden it doesn't matter whether high ranking public figures are doing a bad job, fiddling expenses or just useless, they have a job for life and won't leave, won't be asked to leave. What's worse is that in typically Swedish fashion no-one questions anything face to face and therefore the morons get away with it. In any other European county Sahlin would have been ousted years ago and a proper party/alliance strategy would have been put in place to deal with the current government and their ostrich approach to problems.

I'll offer 20-1 that Sahlin becomes new leader of Government at the next election. Any takers?
11:22 September 9, 2009 by BlackfDes
Look around the world and consider that those that don´t have high taxes also have to worst public infrastrure - poor roads, poor public transport, poor hospitals, poor health care, poor education, etc etc etc.

Think carefully before you say high taxes are bad ... sure they are "bad" for individuals but for the collective good of the country they create great opportunities.


The Black One
11:26 September 9, 2009 by peropaco
Mona Salhlin will get voted in to office. One needs to understand the majority of Swedes are from the lower socio-structural classification and they have absolute contempt for those they consider wealthy. They would do anything to make the wealthy pays more tax, even if this means paying more themselves.
11:47 September 9, 2009 by rumcajs
The pub story up ther was good, but there's something I would add. I was like that guy for a while. I started to have much more money than my 2 best friends, so I used to pay more and didn't mind cos I new that at the end of the nite I was gonna sleep in my own big room and they were gonna share a little one; and they were my FRIENDS. The point is who needs more the money, not who's investing more and should also get more. It's interesting how some people don't mind about the fuel comp. of their huge engines cos at the end of the day the car is fast and worth it; but when it comes to taxes, they just moooan and don't remember that at the end of the day the house is big (and the salaries) and might also worth it, just like the car. "If you buy a Lambo I guess u can tank it" is accepted as ok by most of people, but "if you are rich, I guess you can pay high taxes"... ohhh, that's soooo unfare.
11:50 September 9, 2009 by CanadianEh
Well I think Sweden with the current government has gone backwards. Many youth and social programs shut down in the name of tax breaks. Thus resulting in higher crime rates all accross the country. Now what many people don't understand is in the media when the word "tax hike" or "tax increases" are used people do not understand that it's the wealthy that pay for it. But again there are so many loop holes in the tax system that any wealthy individual with an accountant will not feel the pintch of the tax man.

People leaving Sweden of course, but then when they realise how their tax dollars had supported so many programs that they took for granted will return with relief.

I was shocked when I herd University was free and that CSN helped you buy books. I wish I had that going through school.
11:51 September 9, 2009 by skane refugee
Swedens wealthy/high earners have seen this coming for years ... which is why the majority are in London, Marbella etc, returning for summer but staying out of the Swedish tax net ...

Remaining 'high earners' are internationally mobile, a significant proportion of whom should be expected to leave Sweden as income tax rates rise ... Swedens total kroner tax take from top rate income tax could therefore easily fall, even as tax rates rise, leaving the politicians with even more money to find from elsewhere ...

For very many years, the consensus among middle class Swedes is that property tax is the most likely way that politicians will raise more money in Sweden in future ... consequently middle class Swedes often prefer to live in a rent controlled apartment rather than own their own home (one of the reasons that Swedish property is relatively cheap by Northern European standards) ...

... but this proposed MSEK6 hurdle will surely quickly have to fall to cover properties worth MSEK3 or less to raise the necessary tax to preserve key elements of the collapsing Swedish welfare state ...
12:32 September 9, 2009 by Staffs
Who will spend 1000 SEK of my money more thoughtfully, efficiently and productively, the government or me?

I think the answer is me.

So how can government spending of my money create more sustainable economic growth and production than me or other private sector organisations.

If I decide that there is nothing worthwhile to invest in I will deposit the money into a bank, who will then lend it to other private sector organisations for investment.

Tax revenues have never, do not, and will never, create more jobs and wealth than allowing productive members of society to keep it and invest it as desired.
12:51 September 9, 2009 by Eurostan
@magic1964 great logic. send that story to mona. e- mail address is there in social democrates website.

social democrates are reponsible for the worst in sweden.
12:51 September 9, 2009 by commenting
unbelievable, Sweden needs to reduce the taxes more. this is a crazy decision, I promise you just in few years all professionals will leave country, take me as the first. Sweden if wants to keep a level of competence (which has put Sweden forward so far) and to avoid a free-fed society (which every jobless, un-educated, lazzy ass folk around the world seeks a residency) shall try to lessen taxes. honestly i say goodbye to Sweden if it's getting on downhill,

seems that health care has become a populist slogan for these guys, but I don't think Swedes will be fooled by that. take lessens from soviet-union collapse when they lost technology war to USA badly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
13:11 September 9, 2009 by magic1964
No matter how much you earn nobody should pay more than 45% in total taxes. Giving out 50% is basicly working for tye state from January til July and then working for yourself...
13:23 September 9, 2009 by Beynch
This woman is nothing more than an inept, unapologetic, marxist! Raising taxes more should not even be a remote consideration. Not that you need more convincing about this palme-esque refuse, but if nothing else will convince you, her tax raising `soak-the-rich` philosophies should convince any decent Swede. Defeat the left in 2010!
13:45 September 9, 2009 by magic1964
Many people who vote social democrats and other leftist parties are just stupid, lasy and jalous....just like Sahlin.
15:54 September 9, 2009 by rumcajs
@ commenting

"all professionals will leave country".. yeah and how much do you think they'd get paid in other countries?? and how much would they pay for things??? Even with the taxes thing, they'd be better in Sweden than in most of countries.
17:18 September 9, 2009 by vladd777
I think 30% tax on income is more than enough!

It's the poor handling of the money that needs to be addressed.

I have worked in schools and hospitals and the amount of wastage that occurs is mind-boggling!

Plus I have noticed that just about every immigrant ( refugee or other ) sports a cell phone and uses it all the time!

Makes one wonder...
18:41 September 9, 2009 by Beef
vlad777, not sure what your comment about immigratants is all about??

can someone explain to me how raising taxes saves jobs?

Also, wealth tax, please also explain that concept.. In a country where people are encouraged to save as part of the culture.. There is even this lönehelg late oppening in Ikea which is very cute indeed, they want to re-introduce a tax that only 7 countries in the world have, to tax you on your wealth, so if you've saved, you've already paid income tax, then tax on the interest, then tax again on all of that after a certain amount.. Complete madness. Of course people will "bend" the rules and save money in other countries non-declared.. If I was so fortunate to qualify for this tax I would and would feel totally morally justified despite what the law says.. Ludicrous!
19:06 September 9, 2009 by steve_38
I lived in Sweden for 3 years am back in the UK, only 1 reason the tax deal came to an end (Technical expert reduction). I remember my first pay slip in Sweden after I picked myself of the floor my gross 85,000SEK went to a net 35,000 (or thereabouts). Fortunalty my tax reduction came through later.

Sweden is an envy Country in that the general view of most people is you dont deserve to earn $150K even though you work 65 hours per week done take your holidays and have no time of sick. The tax problem with Sweden is the burden of high unemployment masked by (part time sick ????) etc.

I like Sweden and love the country (am married to one) but the tax system is a joke. I guess thats the cost of being the last communist country in Europe.
19:47 September 9, 2009 by Mib
Give due credit to this woman. At least she's being honest about tax rises. And her honesty must sound wonderful to the opposition. For me on a personal level, it won't affcet me directly, but I am totally against it....because while there are a miniority who fill the stereotyp of an arrogant, lazy, pompus person, many wealthy people have worked hard and taken risks to get where they were. They are the ones who build businesses and cretae jobs in the long run. So, it could affect me as Sweden becomes less attractive to new companies to invest in.

The current Government have made mistakes, but have managed to steer the economy through a credit shockwave. They have reduced income taxes for the avearge earner and will reduce employers tax to encourage them to invest in more people.

Anyway, as before, the H&M head will negotiate a private deal to avoid paying the worst tax in the world "wealth tax". The bankers will pay themselves even more money via bonuses to ensure the extra taxes make no difference to them. So, eventually we all pay. The top rate of tax is already 55%, so further increases will eventually result in a decrease in tax receipts from the "wealthy".

This BS is cold war thinking and wil hopefully result in the current Governmet remaining in power!!
19:57 September 9, 2009 by vladd777
Beef: In reply..

Makes one/me wonder.. what percentage of my hard earned tax cash is being used for these multitudes of cell phones and how people who are, for the most part, jobless, manage to afford all these expensive telephone calls.

I have a cell phone and am loathe to use it because of the costs attached.
20:25 September 9, 2009 by commenting
@ rumcajs

"how much do you think they'd get paid in other countries??"

comparing country taxes (individual) according to http://www.worldwide-tax.com/: Sweden has max 57% which puts it in the second place in world after Denmark 59%

" and how much would they pay for things???"

Pricerunner.co.uk has ranked Sweden 3rd most expensive EU country after Denmark and France [2008].

some numbers for you!

there is a fundamental problem with these high taxes, read the first comment, hope you get the point.

"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax." Albert Einstein and i do not niether understand it well!! sorry!!
21:36 September 9, 2009 by mkvgtired
Comment: Magic, great points! You did not even touch on the fact that the 10% payers would be inclined to drink more alcohol and more expensive alcohol, and the 50% payer would be inclined to drink less to save money. For instance there might be a $200 tab where the 50% payer only drank one $4 beer. He still pays $100. If this were real life every time the 50% payer did without (worked less) would mean less tax inflows, and every time the 10% payers increased consumption it would mean more tax outflows. Politicians don't comprehend this logic.

Also, only in the land of breastfeeding men, 4 year murder sentences, and anonymous "youth" gangs would anyone think raising taxes saves jobs...Oh wait I take that back the current US Administration is on the same page.
23:04 September 9, 2009 by Ian11
The intention is good but the implementation is bad. To truly tax the rich then the bar need to move higher, not 1M SEK but say 2M SEK. With the current value of the Krona and current financial climate 1M SEK puts a tax payer in the upper middle class, so at the end of the day its the upper middle class that get taxed heavily and not the rich people.

The rich with annual revenue of 1M SEK was valid 30 years ago, not any more now.
13:41 September 10, 2009 by Mib
The rich have access to experts that allow them to exploit tax loopholes. So, close them and revenue will increase. Have inheritance tax, which is like Wealth tax, but only paid at death. That is fairer as long as the tax rate is fair.

Introduce a property stamp duty, rather than raise property tax. So, the higher the cost to buy your property, the more you pay...and a wealthy person will pay it, rather than live in a smaller/cheaper property.

Increase purchase tax for luxury goods above say 500,000kr. There are many ways to tax weatlhy people. But, for me, closing tax loopholes is the main one for me.
14:48 September 10, 2009 by magic1964
I think the level of taxations should be decide during the elections....people who vote left wing parties should then pay 65 % taxes by humanism and solidarity and people who vote right should pay max 40% by pure realism and honesty.....
07:52 September 11, 2009 by skane refugee
Good points Mib ...

Inheritance tax may well be the way to go for Sweden (which, IMHO, underneath the thin veneer of progressive social policies, is in reality an object lesson in preserving class priviledge) ... apart from the beneficial wealth redistribution effect ... the added benefit of this move would be that it would force the children of the wealthy in Sweden (often also the best educated) to take their careers more seriously, work harder, pay more income tax and generally boost the economy

Stamp duty on more expensive property would dampen down property speculation and could exempt ordinary homes/apartments

More moms/VAT on luxuries could pay for an exempting of food, childrens clothes and other essentials from moms/VAT altogether, for example, representing a real boost to poor Swedes purchasing power
14:13 September 11, 2009 by Eric1977
In 1996 a small little Island on the west coast of Europe began to experience a massive economic growth. However at that period as now the country was run by idiots who were more concerned with lining their own pockets than the welfare of the state, the "hippy" politicians at this time wanted to study closely the Swedish model in order to deal with this new wealth and how best to serve the nations people. These individuals were ridiculed and this little Island opted to copy the American model.

There was a snag, our politicians were inept, so they were forced to turn to private enterprise for policies, our finance minister purred like a kitten at the advice he received from bankers and then regurgitated this back to the public as his own. Through deregulation and unsecured loans the government encouraged the people into debt, oh the good times rolled. However the government realised in order to allow the rich get richer as is the American way they had to appease the peasants, they did this by abolishing any tax structure. The average individual paid less than 21% tax, We sold off child care, elderly care &hospitals because obviously low tax rates don't pay for much public service. You wanted it we sold it to you. We even decided to be world leaders, we were the first to abolish smoking in public places (of course without any background support system)

Whilst this charade continued we were also demoted in the European education tables (prior to 16 years) we had/have the highest murder rate in Western Europe and our general crime rate was catching up with Britain. Our politicians where spending more time in court than running the country best of all our own leader stepped aside under very questionable circumstances, but who cared we had money and the craic was great.

Fast forward to 2009 and to the debacle and shambles that is my country. We are about to reach 20% unemployment in 2010. 10% of homeowners are being forced to go homeless as the inept banks chase the little guy for the money they squandered. Every street is awash with for sale signs, crime is rising so fast that some predict we could be the most crime ridden country in the first world by 2012. The great man who deregulated the banking system is now leading the country. "The lunatics have taken over the asylum". We had no reserve money as we took an insufficient amount of tax when people had the expendable income.

But here comes the best part now after the excrement has hit the fan and only now are the people who ridiculed the hippies back in 1996 desperate to copy the Swedish system of high taxes, good public service and cash reserve. Why because it is the only sustainable way of supporting a modern highly expectant society. I for one can handle a 1-2% increase, if the government can guarantee a continuation in the level of service for children, schools, hospitals and elderly that you Swedes have come to expect but the rest of the world can only dream of.
16:08 September 11, 2009 by Beynch
@Eric 1977

Is there any way you can reduce your commentary to 7 lines or less? It's too long to even begin to read.
04:39 September 12, 2009 by mieoux
Is it even mathematically possible to raise income taxes in Sweden? Super high taxes are going to be a disincentive for people who actually want to make money, and will also kill ambition in the youth.
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